The U.S. recreational boat industry ended the third quarter with the kind of moderate, steady growth that positions it to end 2014 with single-digit sales gains.
New Boat Sales
Statistical Surveys, a Michigan company that tracks new-boat registrations, provides monthly, quarterly and annual reports on boat sales from every state in the country.
New-boat sales are tracking to be up about 10 percent this year from 2013, with about 95 percent of the sales that will commence in 2014 having already been made.
For the second month in a row, U.S. recreational boat sales showed single-digit gains in October that built on double-digit advances a year earlier as a late-blooming selling season extended deeper into the fall.
Just as the sun was setting on the summer of 2014, the industry had one of its best performances of the year in September, posting sales gains of nearly 10 percent in the main powerboat segments and across the industry.
Outboard fiberglass boats throttled up with a double-digit sales gain in August, but the rest of the recreational boat market struggled to keep up, leaving the market flat overall for the month.
Trends in key categories continued to be mostly positive during the summer as boat sales made steady gains during another year of recovery for the industry.
Recreational boat sales were uneven this year as a hard winter slowly transitioned to spring, but second-quarter figures show that, by the end of June, the industry was on pace to exceed 2013 sales by more than 10,000 boats.
Last July, recreational boat sales roared off to double-digit gains as the industry recouped sales lost to a wet and chilly spring.
A marine industry analyst for Wells Fargo disagrees with growing concerns that U.S. retail boat sales are sluggish.
Sales of luxury yachts have reached their highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008 amid growing demand from wealthy Americans and Russians.